Monet’s House & Garden

Monet's House and Garden Two surprises awaited me when I visited Claude Monet's house and gardens in Giverny, France. One, his house was much bigger than I thought it would be -- a mansion for the times he lived, and two, his gardens were less formal than imagined. Mid summer was the perfect time to … Continue reading Monet’s House & Garden

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Vernon, France

Castle Ruins Walking around the charming village of Vernon, France I found the remains of a medieval castle wall and tower. Surrounded by gardens now, it was a pretty sight. The old town center is near the Seine River, where it's been since William the Conqueror marched through. It was an easy walk from the … Continue reading Vernon, France

St. Germain

Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye Located in the Paris suburb of St. Germain, this little fixer-upper is formally called the Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Louis VI built the first castle on this site in 1124. A chapel (not shown here) was added in 1238. Expanded several times over the centuries, Louis XIV was born here in 1638, but … Continue reading St. Germain

Tough Turkey

Wild Turkey Along a trail in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains NP, I caught up to a group of 10-12 people moving off the trail in both directions to make room for this wild turkey rooster. He was all fanned out, strutting with purpose, looking for a fight. No one was approaching it, let alone … Continue reading Tough Turkey

John Oliver’s Cabin

John Oliver's Cabin - 1820's This idyllic setting is John Oliver's cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee. Following the one-way eleven-mile loop around Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains NP, one of the first points of interest is John Oliver's cabin. The log cabin was built without nails or wooden pegs. Notched corners in … Continue reading John Oliver’s Cabin

Grist Mill

Roaring Fork Grist Mill This is a small grist mill along the Little Roaring Fork River in Great Smoky Mountain NP. It's right on the road of a six mile motor trail that starts in Gatlinburg, TN. Easy to get to; you can visit this place in your flip flops. Thought for the Day: America's … Continue reading Grist Mill

Gate to the Past

Old Gate By luck and happenstance we found Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' home in the middle of central Florida's nowhere. Located on a narrow spit of land between Orange and Little Lochloosa Lake is her cracker style home and farm where she lived and wrote, "The Yearling". Volunteers "work" the restored farm and maintain the vegetable … Continue reading Gate to the Past

Beach Walk

The walk to Siesta Key Beach begins here. In the early morning, as the rising Florida sun begins clearing the cloudy sky, the sea grass and wild flowers are minor distractions along the path to the "Best Beach in the USA". The beauty of this scene is made visible in print form by processing the … Continue reading Beach Walk

Courtyard

St. Augustine's Old Town reminds me of New Orleans, especially the ornate doorways. This wrought iron gate was the only opening in a tall stone wall surrounding the property. A glimpse of the brick courtyard with fountain and large sculptures provided more questions than answers. An overgrown yard hiding most of the house filled my … Continue reading Courtyard

Seawall

St. Augustine , FL This beautiful seawall protects the Old Town area of St. Augustine, FL from high tides and storms along the Matanza River. It makes you feel safe, however, the seawall is no match for a hurricane. The recent flooding in eastern Nebraska, exacerbated by breached levees and failed dams, made me think … Continue reading Seawall

Lifeguard Station

Lifeguard Station Early morning. Except for a few dedicated walkers on the shoreline, I had the beach to myself while I waited for the sun to break through the clouds. The sunrise was a non-event, too much cloud cover, but as it got lighter the day looked promising. My patience was rewarded when a few … Continue reading Lifeguard Station

Umbrellas

Umbrellas - Cape Cod Nebraska's winter has been the worst in a long time. January was bitter cold with light snow, now two heavy snowfalls in the last five days and another heavy snowstorm on the horizon. I thought this picture might cheer things up. Nothing special about the photo itself; I just like the … Continue reading Umbrellas

Bobby’s Helmet

The bobby's helmet rested on the corner post of a lonely bench in back of Beatrix Potter's home in England's Lake District.  The bobby (slang for English police officer) was no where to be found. The rainy day did nothing to discourage visitors to the site; there was a steady stream of hardy souls wandering … Continue reading Bobby’s Helmet

Tradition

I have a long standing tradition of having my picture taken with wooden American Indian sculptures, sometimes referred to as "cigar-store Indians".  For some reason, in the Old West, they were always situated outside tobacco stores. This "fetish" of mine started on my honeymoon in the late 60's.  We were in Deadwood, SD and my … Continue reading Tradition

St. Peters Church, England

About thirty miles west of London and just south of Newbury in Hampshire County on highway A339 is the small village of Headley.  Very quaint. It seemed as every business in town was named "Headley"; e.g. Headley Tyre, Headley Stud and Headley House.  Even the church had the Headley name on it, but I found … Continue reading St. Peters Church, England

Longboat Key Library

Longboat Key, Florida is a long narrow spit of sand (Duh! It's a key) off the west coast of Florida, near Sarasota.  For its size, it's not very populated and has limited things to offer visitors, like restaurants, nightlife and attractions.  I would call it "quiet, laid back and relaxing"; others might call it boring. … Continue reading Longboat Key Library

Steventon, England

The Church of St. Nicholas, where Jane Austen's father preached and she worshiped as a child, is located in a rural setting near the small town of Steventon in Hampshire County, England.  Jane Austen was born in 1775. The original structure of this church was built centuries before Austen's birth.  I marveled at the still-sturdy … Continue reading Steventon, England

London

On the banks of the Thames River sits the London Eye, a mere 200 meters downstream from the House of Parliament.  The giant wheel measures 400 feet in diameter. A complete rotation of the wheel takes 30 minutes, such a slow rate that each of the 32 capsules can load and unload 28 passengers while … Continue reading London

Belle Meade Plantation

John Harding (thoroughbred horse breeder) started Belle Meade in 1807 with 250 acres of land six miles west of Nashville, TN.  He had the original house built in 1820, and then modernized in 1853 as his farm continued to grow. So modern for its time, the mansion had hot and cold running water and gas … Continue reading Belle Meade Plantation